CERN Accelerating science

European Organization for Nuclear Research

CBI Course (Challenge Based Innovation)

MSc-Student Projects in Innovation

Benefiting from the technical knowledge of the researchers and engineers working in experiments and in other parts of CERN, a dedicated MSc-level program has been started in IdeaSquare targeted to multidisciplinary student teams, complementary to the domain of physics. This program is called Challenge Based Innovation (CBI), and it is organized and coordinated in collaboration with universities and business schools. It is open to participation and has currently participants from six countries (Australia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Norway and Spain). Currently, some 50 students are working together in IdeaSquare - and remotely from their home institutions - on concrete prototypes addressing challenges faced by society.

The student teams comprise product design, business management and engineering and the students are coached by scientists and engineers at CERN. Drawing inspiration from the R&D carried out at CERN, the student teams learn for six months human-centric product development skills and will produce a tangible proof-of-concept prototype which they will publish at CERN in late February, 2015. Driven by real end-user needs obtained with Design Thinking methods and tools[1], these prototypes aim to help, for example, the elderly in their daily lives, offer complementary information about the environment to the visually impaired, or help autistic children in their learning process. The CBI program is funded by the participating institutions, CERN providing the facilities in IdeaSquare[2] while they are on-site. The CBI-2 student protopresentation webcast can be found here.

Guidelines for external universities wishing to participate in the CBI Program can be found here.

[1] See e.g.: Aalto University Design Factory ( and

[2] For more information about CBI, see:

External links: